The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Benediction Hymn and Amen

For Christmas Service of Carols

Source: Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), pp. 55-56.

Compare:  Benediction Hymn and Amen From Pettman's The Westminster Carol Book (1899)

To be sung at the conclusion of a Carol Service, before the Blessing, the people all kneeling.

1. He has come an infant stranger,
Of a mother lowly born,
Swath'd and cradled in a manger
Of His ancient glory shorn.

2. He has come, the Great Creator,
Calling all the world to own
Him the Judge and Lord of nature,
Seated on His Father's Throne.

3. He has come, all grief expelling
From the hearts that Him receive,
He to each a holy dwelling
In His Father's house will give.

4. Lo, He comes! At His appearing
All His foes before Him fall,
Proudest kings His summons hearing
On the rocks for shelter call.

5. Man, of human flesh partaking.
Offspring of the Virgin's womb,
Who, the hopeless wanderer seeking,
Deigned in lowly guise to come.

6. Son of the Eternal Father,
Who again in power shall come.
Round Him all mankind to gather,
And pronounce th' unerring doom.

After the Blessing either of these Benediction Hymns may be sung, followed by the "St. Mary" Amen, which should be taken up in strict time with the last half-bar of either hymn.

No. 1.

Lord, keep us safe this night
Secure from all our fears;
May angels guard us while we sleep,
Till morning light appears.
                John Leland, 1792

No. 2.

May the grace of God our Saviour
And the Father's boundless love,
with the Holy Spirit's favour,
Rest upon us from above.

Thus may we abide in union
With each other and the Lord,
And possess in sweet communion
Joys which earth cannot afford.

Amen, Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen, Amen.

Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #n:

Benediction_Hymns-01.jpg (97528 bytes) Benediction_Hymns-02.jpg (85459 bytes)

Note from Pettman: The practice of singing soft hymns, while kneeling, at the conclusion of a service, though new and uncommon, is generally admitted by those who have adopted it to be a most beautiful and reverent form of conclusion to it. It therefore occurred to me that it might be desirable to end a carol service in the same way. The directions placed over each hymn are suggested in the hope that the plan thus indicated will at least be adopted once; but should the service be found too long (a common complaint in the present day) an ordinary plagal Amen may be substituted for the six-fold Amen, which follows the hymn on page 54 of this book.

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